Surf-ski whirligig

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Project by dgom posted 10-29-2012 05:25 PM 3946 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I made this wind driven whirligig for my sister-in-law who recently had her 40th birthday. I thought it would be a nice gift since she is a proficient lifesaver and competes in surf-ski racing. Surf-skis are used worldwide for surf lifesaving, surf kayaking and for training and competition on flat-water or ocean racing. Today she’s actually leaving Sweden to participate in “Rescue 2012” in Adelaide, Australia.

I got the idea for this whirligig when I saw the traditional “INDIAN IN A CANOE WHIRLIGIG”. I thought it would be nice to make it more three-dimensional like a model and adapted towards my sister-in-laws big interest.

The paddling figure is carved from a piece of linden tree and then painted and varnished three times to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. This was my first attempt to carve facial expressions. At first I planned to leave the face blank, but it seemed a bit impersonal. The degree of carving difficulty was lowered considerably by making a pair of sunglasses, instead of attempting to carve eyes. The surf-ski is made from a piece of pine and painted white. The paddles are made from birch. The short tube that is inserted from the bottom has a ball from a ball bearing inserted at the top. Likewise the shaft going into the tube is prepared with a roller from a roller bearing on its top so that there will be a long lasting low friction suspension of the whirligig. The whirligig has been tested outdoors and works great. It either paddles forward or backwards and spins around with the wind gusts. Here is a video of the whirligig in action:

I was glad to find out that my sister-in-law appreciated the gift a lot!

1 comment so far

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1421 posts in 3201 days

#1 posted 10-29-2012 07:17 PM

Very interesting piece!! Great job!!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

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